A Letter-Writing Campaign for Dreamers

President Minsun Kim of KAAGNY (center) speaks at the press conference. To her right is Rabbi Robert Kaplan of JCRC and to her left is Charles Yoon, chairman of the KAAGNY board. (Photo via The Korea Times)

[This story has been updated based on a recording of the press conference.]

Organizations in Korean communities across the United States, including KAAGNY (The Korean American Association of Greater New York), have started a letter-writing campaign to push lawmakers to pass legislation protecting DACA Dreamers.

KAAGNY held a press conference at its center on Sept. 12, during which President Minsun Kim announced: “The Korean communities of 42 states sent the letters [written so far] to Paul Ryan who is the speaker of the United States House of Representatives.” She added, “To make our voices heard, we recommend more Koreans join the campaign.”

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On that day, the director of the Center for Community Leadership at the Jewish Community Relations Council, Rabbi Robert Kaplan, appeared at the press conference and [to announce] a partnership with the Korean community to protect Dreamers.

Kaplan spoke of how both communities share painful histories – that of concentration camps in Europe and sexual slavery in Asia – which impact both the survivors and their descendants.

He said: “The Jewish community has learned tremendous lessons that we feel we can share with the Korean community on the health and mental health and the quality of life of those survivors.”

Community leaders should work to provide survivors with services they need, Kaplan said, “whether it be mental health, whether it be being able to age properly, or just being able to tell their story and being able to relate to an entire generation that this happened and that that next generation is then obligated to ensure and to do everything in its power [to make certain] that this never happen again.”

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